Hamilton Depression Scale

Hamilton Depression Scale is a clinical tool that assesses the severity of a depressive disorder. Download this PDF to better measure patients’ depression.

Use Template Now

What Is A Hamilton Depression Rating Scale Test?

Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, or HAM-D or HDRS, is a measuring tool that assesses the severity of depression in a patient diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. It was developed by Dr. Max Hamilton, the same doctor who created the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. Just like the HARS, HDRS has been the gold standard or benchmark clinical tool for assessing depression for more than five decades.
This tool is used during structured or unstructured interviews with the patient. Since this was created decades ago, modified versions that attend to other symptoms of depression have since been added.

The scale, which has 21 items and is administered by mental healthcare experts, is scored using the first 17 items, which are either measured on a 5-point or 3-point scale. To finish and score the scale takes between 15 and 20 minutes.

Some of the 17 items in the Hamilton Depression Scale Test can also be observed in the Hamilton Anxiety Scale.

These are the 17 scored indicators in the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale: 

  • Depressed mood
  • Guilt feelings
  • Suicide
  • Insomnia - early
  • Insomnia - middle
  • Insomnia - late
  • Work and activities
  • Retardation - psychomotor
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety - psychological
  • Anxiety - somatic
  • Somatic symptoms GI
  • Somatic symptoms - General
  • Sexual dysfunction - menstrual disturbance 
  • Hypochondrias
  • Weight loss by history
  • Insight

Dr. Hamilton argued that in a healthcare setting, an unstructured interview does not require the use of particular questions. He stated that the effectiveness of the questionnaire "depends entirely on the interviewer's expertise”.

Printable Hamilton Depression Scale

Download this Hamilton Depression Scale in order to evaluate your client’s depressive symptoms.

How To Use This Hamilton Depression Scale

Step One: Download the PDF. 

This template may either be administered through printed material or digital software. Recently, clinics or healthcare practitioners have tended to lean on digital practice for efficiency. Hence, this PDF is already editable and ready to use. 

Step Two: Brief the Client/Patient. 

Explain to the patient or the client what will be done and set proper expectations. Ensure that they will pledge honesty and be truthful about their behavior. Ensure that they truly understand the point of assessment. 

Step Three: Go through each statement. 

Administer the evaluation with thorough observation. Match the client's pacing and be diligent in specifying how they feel. 

Step Four: Record the observations. 

Be active in noticing the apparent behaviors of the client/patient. As a mental health practitioner, being able to determine traits and recognize non-verbal symptoms should be a basic expectation. 

Step Five: Properly store the documentation.

If you are using Carepatron, you don’t have to worry about storage. The platform is a cloud-based company where your documents are securely stored and properly organized. If you decide to document it through print, it is best to collate it in a folder. This survey may be useful in comparative analysis or for future evaluation to measure progress. 

Hamilton Depression Scale Example (Sample)

Over the years, many versions of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale have been modified. It is important to see a Hamilton Depression Scale Example to understand what the indicators are.

Download this Hamilton Depression ScaleExample (Sample) here:

Hamilton Depression Scale Example (Sample)

When Would You Typically Use This Hamilton Depression Scale Assessment?

Depression is a frequent psychiatric condition with significant morbidity and mortality rates, a major cause of worldwide disease burden. Currently, standardized interviews and evaluation scales are used to validate a depression diagnosis.

The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression is most frequently used to gauge the severity of a depressive disorder and how well a patient responds to treatment. It was originally designed to evaluate the performance of the first group of antidepressants. These are the instances when to use the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale:

Initial Interview 

This template can be used when screening a patient recently diagnosed with major depressive disorder. It is best to measure the level of depression in each indicator. This helps the attending mental health specialist understand the patient's underlying conditions. 

Follow-up Checkup

Healthcare practitioners may request a retest to see the improvement of the patient’s symptoms over time. The results will help in the comparative analysis of the responses. 

Before providing prescriptions

This template helps mental health experts understand the symptoms better. After numerous retests, the experts may be able to draw a good diagnosis from the incurred results to come up with their prescriptions based on their observation and the calculated result of the patient’s Hamilton Depression Scale.

Who Can Use these Printable Hamilton Depression Scales?

Mental health professionals are the expected people who will benefit from using this Hamilton Depression Rating Scale Template. This assessment tool is publicly available, but the administration should be handled by someone with a good mental health practice background.

Generally, these are the professionals who may see advantage in using this template in their practice: 

  • Psychologists 
  • Psychotherapists 
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychometricians
  • Counselors 
  • Clinical Social Workers 
  • Therapists 

Why Is This Assessment Popular With Psychologists?

The Hamilton Depression Assessment (HAM-D) is a widely used assessment tool in the field of psychology for measuring the severity of depression in individuals. This assessment tool is popular with psychologists for several reasons.

  • With almost 50 years of use in research investigations, HAM-D is a well-known tool. It is a reputable and dependable measure for evaluating depression because its reliability and validity have been thoroughly investigated and verified.
  • This thorough evaluation includes a variety of depressive symptoms, including mood, anxiety, guilt, sleep, and hunger. This extensive evaluation can assist psychologists in gaining a deeper comprehension of a person's depression symptoms and in adjusting their treatment strategy accordingly.
  • It is a useful tool in therapeutic settings because it is reasonably simple to administer and score. The exam is similar across many physicians and contexts thanks to its standardized format.
  • The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale is a well-known instrument that makes it simple to compare findings across research and evaluate the efficacy of various therapies. The broad use of this evaluation tool also makes it simple for psychologists to interact and exchange information with peers.
Psychology Software Feedback

Commonly asked questions

How to interpret Hamilton Depression Scale results?

The sum of the individual scores for each question yields the overall score:

Depression is typically absent or in remission when a score falls below 7.

Mild depression is represented by scores of 7 to 17.

Moderate depression is represented by scores of 18 to 24.Severe depression is indicated by scores of 25 or above.

What does the Hamilton Depression Scale measure?

For individuals who have previously received a depressive disorder diagnosis, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) is the most often used clinician-rated measure for measuring how severe their depression is.

Is Hamilton Depression Scale reliable?

According to research, HRSD is a reliable tool for evaluating depression. Statistics in most research results show acceptable levels of inter-rater, test-retest, and internal consistency overall. It is an accurate instrument to diagnose moderate to severe depression, enabling the closing of the diagnosis and treatment gap.

Benefits Of Free Hamilton Depression Rating Scale


Making clinical equipment more efficient has an advantage in simplifying administrative work in the age of technology that is advancing so quickly. Also, using digital templates can reduce the price of printed materials.


Clinical staff can make more precise observations and respond to the severity of a client's symptoms thanks to objective indicators. This technique can yield positive outcomes for mental health experts when used multiple times to track progress.

Next Level Documentation 

Carepatron's cloud-based platform allows you to access your data with just one click. Also excellent is its security. If the paperwork is organized, resolving underlying concerns and discussing them with the required parties will be simple. The template is user-friendly and of high quality, with simple administration.

Efficient Monitoring

Analysis of the data obtained from the template will be simple because the documents are just a click away. A comparative study of the earlier responses will be easier to obtain because the platform's data can be simply retrieved.

Improved Practice Outcomes 

Most mental health practitioners' job involves meticulous observation and monitoring, so they are expected to do a lot of administrative labor. The amount of paperwork will increase. It is advised to utilize this template to reduce manual work and increase attention to actual practice rather than spending more time completing necessary manual documentation.

Why Use Carepatron For Hamilton Depression Scale Software?

All mental health professionals are encouraged to use Carepatron because of its adaptability as a healthcare platform. It includes a lot of other elements that are helpful in enhancing the quality of the practice results in addition to improving the practice documentation.

Worksheets, treatment plans, clinical notes, assessments, and other templates are easily accessible. Also, it is a platform that may assist you with several additional cutting-edge functions, like appointment reminders, video chatting, consultation services, and online payments. Patient portals and precise medical billing and coding systems can be included to improve the client experience further.

Join Carepatron right now to advance your practice!

Psychology Software
How to interpret Hamilton Depression Scale results?
How to interpret Hamilton Depression Scale results?
Written by

Join 10,000+ teams using Carepatron to be more productive

One app for all your healthcare work